We’ll know America has pulled back from the brink when 1) our military expenditures are drastically reduced, and 2) the tax code is reformed to close the widening gap between haves and have-nots.
America could cut its military expenditures by half and still outspend China, Russia and Saudi Arabia combined. Imagine how 400 billion dollars trimmed annually from the defense budget could transform this nation if it were injected into education, infrastructure, health care and the commons.
Regarding the tax code, a little history is warranted. From the Second World War until 1963, those in the highest income brackets were taxed at a rate of 90 percent on “excess” income. Many consider these years to be America’s economic hay day. The marginal tax rate dropped to 70 percent throughout the 1970s, to 38.5 percent under Ronald Reagan, and to as low as 28 percent under George H. W. Bush before climbing slightly. It has remained at 35 percent during the Bush II and Obama years. All attempts by the Obama administration to re-balance the tax code have been nixed by the GOP, whose members, in overwhelming numbers, have signed the Tea-Party’s “Norquist Pledge” opposing increases in marginal tax rates.
Meanwhile, economic disparity has grown dramatically since 1970.